Separate back-to-back tix - will UA help if something goes wrong?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by TravelerRob, Apr 28, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    I tried searching here and on the other forum for an answer but I guess I'm not 100% sure what to search for. Sorry if this is a repeat.

    I already have a ticket for SEA-IAH in May that has a value of $150 (I had vouchers to use). I now need to go to Asia the week before my IAH flight. I could change my existing SEA-IAH ticket but that will basically have zero value with a $150 change fee.

    My thought is to buy the SEA-Asia ticket r/t which will get me back to SEA via NRT 2.5 hours before my scheduled IAH flight. If, for whatever reason, the NRT-SEA flight is delayed and I don't make it in time for my IAH flight will UA help me? By help I mean either put me on a different routing out of NRT to get me to IAH or put me on a later flight out of SEA?

    Has anyone had this happen before? What has UA done?

    I'm 1K if that matters.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I believe that the answer is "yes", if the delay is caused by UA or some event beyond your control. They will just rebook you on another flight in SEA. During the volcanic ash incident in Europe, my flight from FRA to IAD went 500 mile off course to avoid the mess, causing a delay in our arriving in IAD and missing my connecting flight from IAD to LGA. It was very late in the evening and there were no more flights that evening, so UA not only rebooked me on the first flight for the next morning, they also arranged to have a shuttle bus take me and some other folks in a similar situation to a nearby hotel, with dinner vouchers...
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    but did you have separate tickets for the domestic connection?
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Officially, they don't have to. Realistically, they have IME if it is all UA-related.

    Regarding the FRA flight noted above, that would be covered by the EU right-to-care rules so providing meals and hotels would be a requirement.
     
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  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    No, and that is indeed Big difference! Since the flights are essentially unconnected, UA owes the OP nothing other than consideration for being top elite

    ...Vive la difference!
     
  6. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    I figured that was the answer. I'll be at the mercy of whatever UA agent I get in NRT if that plane is delayed or SEA if there's some other problem along the way that causes me to arrive late in SEA.

    Since I have access to Global Entry and I should wind up with 2 hours after immigration/customs to connect I think I'm going to give this a try and hope for the best.

    -Rob
     
  7. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    I don't have any experience with International back-to-back tickets, but domestically they have been quite accommodating. Just a couple of weeks ago I had DTW-ORD canceled due to MX, and the next available flight was too late to catch ORD-DEN that was booked separately. UA offered to put me on DTW-DEN non-stop next morning, but I ended up flying DTW-ORD and taking the first ORD-DEN next morning instead, as it arrived earlier than DTW-DEN would have. No questions asked; no "we don't usually do that", no begging required on my part. The only inconvenience was that I had to call. When flights are on the same PNR, the system is supposed to rebook all affected connections automatically.
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I think the answer is: it depends. I try to avoid these situations, but last year I was booked on a cheap revenue ticket SFO-DEN-MCI-SFO when NASA changed their Shuttle launch date. So suddenly I needed to go to MCO instead. As canceling/changing the original revenue ticket would have basically left me with no miles and no residual value (I used a voucher, I believe), I cleverly booked an award MCI-IAD-MCO (and some return I don't remember). You guessed it (given the thread topic): the DEN-MCI went mechanical and was cancelled (they actually brought two A320s out to the gate and both had problems).

    I did two things:

    - quickly booked another one-way award DEN-MCO to protect myself
    - went to the customer service counter in DEN to see what my rebooking options were.

    The customer service agent worked with her supervisor and ended up booking me on an already oversold flight DEN-IAD that would get in early enough to keep the IAD-MCO leg. The way she explained it to me, they took my DEN-MCI revenue leg and my MCI-IAD award leg and "magically" turned it into DEN-IAD (and I received credit for Y). The gate agent tried to get me an E+ seat, but given the oversell situation I ended up in E- middle-seat last row. And yet I was happy to be on the flight.

    (I canceled the one-way DEN-MCO award, of course. One of the things I love about 1K status is the ability to book awards and change them around or cancel as needed without paying a fee)
     
  9. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I have never tried it, but there are click boxes in your list of reservations where you can combine itineraries. Perhaps combining the two together might give you the benefit of being one reservation? Surely others here will know more about this, but I thought it was worth the suggestion.
     
  10. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    Officially, no. IME, yes. If nothing else, if you're close (within 2 hours-ish) and they give you grief, you can invoke the flat tire rule and standby the rest of the day. Heck, if you can find space in your original bucket within 24 hours after your originally scheduled departure, you can SDC and confirm.
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Is there anything in the CoC that gives you a right you could invoke? I thought the "flat tire rule" was something that airlines applied at their discretion.
     
  12. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    What if someone calls UA and ask that both PNRs to be linked or have them merged? Will that help in IRROPs?
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There is no such thing as actually linking or merging PNRs. Never has been.
    AKAIF the flight tire rule is not in the CoC. I don't believe there is anything that gives you actual rights.
     
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  14. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Neither is Trip in Vain I just realized that.

    Section 26.C is very interesting, I wish UA would enforce this on self-upgrading passengers.
     
  15. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    How often does class of service change in flight, though? (And it wouldn't really apply to E+ sneakers because that's technically not a compartment change.)

    KLM offered to sell upgrades on the plane; I've never heard UA do that.
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I have on a GRU run.
     
  17. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    How does that work? I'm curious.
     
  18. 2wheels

    2wheels Silver Member

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    If I was an FA, if there was a free seat and someone had a $100 bill, they could sit there :)
     
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  19. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do it for a measly $100 if some other passenger reported them that'd be a disciplinary offense right there but if it was on United Express that might work. ;)
     
  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The Old UA used to sell E+ upgrades onboard. Not sure about the new UA. But if they can sell upgrades to E+, it shouldn't take much to sell a C or F upgrade. Then again, how often do premium cabin seats go empty these days?
     
  21. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    C or F upgrades onboard may be more difficult logistically, as you need to have adequate catering loaded. There is no catering impact when somebody moves from E- to E+.
     
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  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    M = number of meals loaded
    S = number of seats occupied
    A = M - S
    if A > 0 then offer A seats for upsell

    I should patent this and offer a license to UA ;)
     
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  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Here's the FT version of the algorithm:

    S = number of seats occupied
    A = M - S
    if A > 0 then find A non-elites and offer seat upsell for small fee
     
  24. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    I doubt it can be 0. M is usually greater than S for a reason, or reasons. :)
     
  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well, yeah, there are meals for the crew, right?

    But bottom line seems to be that it in theory shouldn't be that difficult to upgrade someone on board.
     

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